A Survey of Metaheuristics for Facility Layout Problems

Jascha Barsegar, University of Rhode Island


Facility Layout Problems (FLP) are acknowledged to be among the most challenging and important subjects in the field of manufacturing. To tackle different types of FLP, several specialized optimization methods have been developed and applied over the past decades. Because of computational difficulties in solving such problems exactly, heuristic procedures have been widely used. Currently, metaheuristic frameworks for advanced heuristics, such as Simulated Annealing, Tabu Search and Genetic Algorithms, as well as Swarm Intelligence approaches, including Ant Colony and Particle Swarm Optimization are the most commonly used optimization methods. Hybrid heuristics that combine several of these approaches appear to perform well and hold promise for solving complicated FLP in the future. Based on a review of the literature up to the current date (mid 2011), a classification scheme has been developed as a rubric for segregation that uses the type of problem (i.e. FLP and its subcategories) as one dimension and the optimization approach as the other dimension for classification. This thesis is a survey of the state of the art in the application of metaheuristics for solving FLPs. A comprehensive review of the literature, the vast majority of the work can be categorized into six different types: (1) Quadratic Assignment Problems, (2) Mixed-Integer Programming Problems, (3) Multi-Criteria Facility Layout Problems, (4) Dynamic Facility Layout Problems, (5) Unequal-Area Facility Layout Problems and (6) Construction Site Facility Layout Problems. In addition, subcategories are discussed. These are single and multi-criterion, single and multi-floor, equal and unequal areas as well as static and dynamic layouts. A special focus of this survey is placed on swarm intelligence approaches, which use simple rules at an individual level to spark emergent behavior. These approaches have recently attracted significant research attention. However, a review of the literature related to their application for FLPs does not appear to have been documented, and is a contribution of this research.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering

Recommended Citation

Jascha Barsegar, "A Survey of Metaheuristics for Facility Layout Problems" (2011). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1500314.